Thursday, June 10, 2010

I almost didn't go in today, dreading the thought of pacing the floor looking for things to do. It was indeed a slow day, but I had a couple of good experiences which made me feel like it was worth my while to go in. One man chatted for a while and gratefully took one of the free papers I'd grabbed armfuls of on my way in. On another floor, one patient's bed had completely stopped working and I grabbed a NA who fixed it. She was grateful for my telling her. Most of the day I was going from room to room, as usual, introducing myself and offering papers and assistance. Patients rarely actually ask for any real assistance, but on the rare occasions that they do, they are so happy for help. I wasn't able to pass on all the papers I'd grabbed this morning, but a number of patients did take some so it was worth grabbing them. Some patients don't have their glasses with them or they have equilibrium problems or, as with one poor fellow today, acute headaches which prevent them from reading.
I'm also learning more about the trade from my occasional chats with nurses. For example, some facilities have fixed shift days, at others your days are different every week. The bedside nurses all do 12 hour shifts. They do three days a week for three weeks, then one week of four days. That way they get to 40 hours a week. The PCAs seem to do 5 days of 7.5 hours. The BA and the clinical manager (RN in charge of managing the whole floor) work M-F, regular hours and they are on salary, not hours.

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